I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life. I’ve been medicated, had therapy, done loads of alternative medicine and been hospitalised with it before and although all of these were helpful when I was in a period of heavy depression – nothing has ever been able to keep it at bay and prevent it.
Until I started running.
Running has done for me what no amount of medication or therapy ever has, it has somehow kept my mood stable for the whole time I’ve been running regularly. Although there were other things in my life that I changed at the same time I started running, I wholeheartedly credit it with controlling my depression.
When you are depressed and seek treatment, doctors will tell you to try and exercise. It’s no secret that exercise helps – but when you’re in the depths of depression hell the last thing you feel like doing is exercise. Well I didn’t anyway. So I am not suggesting that all people currently in a severe depressed state should go to the gym immediately to fix themselves – not by any means.
Depression works in cycles. You have huge lows and they are generally cyclical. I happened to start running when I was in a good place and between bouts of depression which is the pattern of how my depression seems to appear.
And I’ve not had any serious lows since. Yes I have bad days that are more than a non-depression sufferers bad day – but nothing anywhere near what I had been experiencing. No days where I couldn’t get out of bed, no days where I couldn’t speak to anyone and no days where I thought I just couldn’t do life like this anymore.
I cannot urge other depression sufferers enough to take up a form of exercise but in particular running.
When I’m running I think about things rationally. I don’t stew on things, I don’t feel resentful and I think straight. If I am feeling like I am sliding I know I can throw on my trainers and head out the door and to this day I have never done this and come back feeling as I did when I left.
It truly is my own little miracle.
British 10k runner pink hat hot legs
Stephanie is a mother of four, runner, blogger and miracle worker. Also a Nutella addict who irons her sheets. Yes, really.
Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. Zoey Dowling

    Beautifully inspirational Stephanie :) now I want to run again today :)

  2. Zoey Dowling

    Love this Steph x And I still can't believe you iron your sheets. Freak.

  3. wow mama 'mamalaide' that's one heck of a good reason to run, well done on overcoming and getting stronger by the week!

  4. Zoey Dowling

    So glad you have found a way to control your depression Stephanie - I have also suffered from severe depression in the past and it takes a lot of work and courage to get any kind of handle on it. I'm still working on it so this is very encouraging - thank you! :) x

  5. Zoey Dowling

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience of depression and recovery Steph. I wish a million people would read this post and start moving! What a difference it would make.

  6. Zoey Dowling

    Such an inspiring story. I've also suffered severe depression multiple times in my life and can relate to the cycles. I think the most important part of your message is to start moving when you're not in the depths, I never would have got my butt off the couch during that time but I've been feeling pretty good and am now living running. I've had some big things happen lately, things that would have floored me before, and I'm still going. No depths. Running resets me and makes me feel like I can take on anything. Thank you for sharing your story. You are totally inspirational and I hope your message reaches so many people so they can start moving too

  7. Zoey Dowling

    Im sorry I didn't comment on this earlier - thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. I am so blown away by not what only you have achieved, but also by you. You are such a hilariously amazing person and because of running, I have you and your Stephanie's in my life ; ) Keep on moving gorgeous xx

  8. Zoey Dowling

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, Steph. It makes a difference to people like me who are running for the same reason. xx